Position: Left Handed Pitcher Height: 6-4 Weight: 170
Born: 7/14/1982 Bats: Left Throws: Left
Campusano recently joined the Tigers in a trade from the Milwaukee Brewers, after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. The Tigers sent cash to the Brew Crew in exchange for the chance to have Edward stick on the 25-man roster as a bullpen lefty. Prior to the Rule 5 selection, he had been an injury prone prospect in the Cubs organization, where he was signed by scout Jose Serra as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 3, 2001.
After coming stateside in 2003, Campusano spent three injury-prone seasons bouncing between the rookie level Arizona League and the A-level Midwest League. While finally healthy to start 2005, he started to put together some impressive numbers before going down to injury. The 2006 campaign saw Edward break out in a huge way, posting a 1.21 ERA at Peoria and then a 1.75 ERA in 25.2 innings at AA-West Tennessee. For his efforts, Edward was named to the Midwest League All-Star team at mid-season, and then again to the post season All-Star squad by the Midwest League managers.
Campusano has intrigued scouts with his power left arm, comfortably slinging his fastball in the 92-94 range, topping 95 on occasion. His fastball has some late life, and he can sink it with some regularity. He compliments his heater with a true wipe-out slider that breaks hard and late. He lacks consistent command of his slider, but Edward can throw it for strikes when both behind and ahead in the count. His lack of a reasonable third pitch and continuing injury concerns have kept him from moving to the rotation.
Edward has been equally as effective against both lefties and righties, burying his slider on the shoe-tops of right-handers. Campusano's mechanics are typically solid, but easily get out of whack when he over-strides towards home plate. He frame is slight, and he would benefit from adding some bulk down the road. He is a reasonable athlete and fields his position adequately. His pick-off move is average, but shows promise. Edward is mature and determined on the mound.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP A
Edward has battled injuries since signing with the Cubs, including his two most recent ailments, elbow surgery to close out the 2005 season, followed by missing the tail end of the AA season with an elbow strain in 2006. The Tigers are hoping his limited use in any 2007 role should allow him to remain healthy and gain experience at the big league level.
As a Rule 5 selection, Campusano will have to spend the entire 2007 season on the Tigers active 25-man roster, or clear waivers and be offered back to the Cubs. He has the raw stuff to be useful in some situations out of the Detroit bullpen, but Leyland would be wise to use him judiciously this season. With the departure of lefty-specialist Jamie Walker to Baltimore, Campusano will compete with incumbent Wil Ledezma and minor league free agents Vic Darensbourg and Tim Byrdak for the lefty roles in the '07 pen.
Expect Edward to get plenty of innings during spring training, and given his willingness to stick by power arms in the past, expect Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland to give him every chance to make the 2007 Opening Day roster. In the end, Campusano has impressive potential, and could team with youngsters like Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya to form a deadly combination at the back end of close games.
You can contact Mark Anderson at email@example.com